Earlier this week it was reported that a roster trimming of sorts was being discussed by NFL teams in preparation of training camp. NFL teams typically show up to camp with 90 players, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic these are far from ordinary times. We now know for example that there will be, at most, half as many preseason games as usual, and we’ve known for some time that camp will be held at each team’s facilities. This means that the Dallas Cowboys will train at The Star in Frisco.
What about the idea of trimming rosters, though? Could that really happen? It seems as if that idea is picking up serious steam.
NFL teams could be reporting to training camp with less players
At this time we do not know how many players each team will be taking to training camp; however, it is starting to feel unlikely that there will be 90.
One source said he believed it’s likely that teams will go to camp with 80-man rosters, and another source said it’s “definitely not 90.” A third league source said he has “heard lots of discussion about 75 players potentially instead of 90”, especially with the reduction in preseason games and teams not needing as many players for camp as normal.
There also are increasing questions from league sources about whether camp can start on time with the number of coronavirus cases around the country spiking.
The NFL also is considering expanding its practice squads to 16-20 players in the event of a coronavirus outbreak; if there were one, teams would have a deeper stash of players to activate to play games.
With two preseason games trimmed the NFL is going to have less time to tinker with rosters anyway so perhaps the league feels that they can trim rosters for teams ahead of time. Obviously social distancing is being encouraged in every facet of life, perhaps the league also thinks that a smaller number of players would make distancing in locker rooms and what not all the more easy.
This latest report also notes that practice squads could be enlarged as a result of this move. That makes some sense as teams might have to part with players they wanted to see more of, stashing them on their practice squad is a potential alternative option.